Family and Medical Leave Act

The CSU Family Medical Leave (FML) provides employees with unpaid leave time for up to twelve (12) weeks to care for self or eligible family members. The CSU FML incorporates both the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave entitlements and run concurrently.

The CSU FML 12 week entitlement is calculated on a forward rolling basis within a 12-month period, from the first date the employee's first FML leave begins. CSU designates FML leave following a three (3) day absence, and only the amount of actual leave taken is counted against the maximum entitlement. CSU FML tracks concurrently with most leave programs except for the California Pregnancy Disability Leave.

CSU FML is extended to employees who either become seriously ill, or need to care for a newborn or a child placed in the home through adoption or foster care, or need to be away from work to care for an ill family member. Eligible family members under CSU FML include a child, parent, spouse or a registered domestic partner.

Parent and Child are defined as:

  • Parent = biological parent or in loco parentis (in position of –e.g. legal guardian)
  • Child = biological, adopted, foster, step, legal ward, and in loco parentis.

Expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act

Recently, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill (AB) 392 (Chapter 361), requiring employers to grant an unpaid leave of absence of up to ten (10) days to an employee who works at least an average of twenty (20) hours per week and also is the spouse or registered domestic partner of a qualified member of the military on leave from deployment. AB 392 is effective immediately, and is applicable to the California State University (CSU).

On January 28, 2008, President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4986), which implemented the expansion of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions to employees with family members in the military. This law is effective immediately, and implements two (2) new types of FMLA leave:

  • Leave to care for wounded service member.  Eligible employees may take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for spouses, children, parents or next kin who are service members with serious illnesses or injuries that were incurred during active duty in the Armed Forces.
  • Leave related to active duty or call to duty.   Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in a 12 month period to deal with any “qualifying exigency” that arises from a spouse’s, child’s or parent’s active duty in the Armed Forces, including an order or call to duty.

Please contact Human Resources should you have questions or would like further details on the above expansion to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions.

Employees who request CSU FML leave for self are required to exhaust existing sick and vacation leave credits, and personal holiday prior to being placed on an unpaid FML leave. Treatment of vacation for represented employees may differ; please refer to the appropriate collective bargaining agreement. Employees who request FML leave to care for a family member must exhaust existing personal holiday and vacation credits. Existing sick leave credits may be used by mutual agreement as defined in the CSU leave policy and appropriate collective bargaining agreement.

While on paid CSU FML, benefit premiums, including health, dental, vision, group life and long term disability continue to be paid by the CSU without a lapse in coverage. During periods of unpaid CSU FML, only health, dental and vision premiums will continue to be paid by the CSU.

The following legislation is incorporated into the CSU FML leave:

  • Family Medical Leave Act -
    29 United States Code, Sections 2601 et seq;
  • California Family Rights Act -
    California Government Code §§12945.1,.2 and 19702.3; and
  • California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Division 4, §§7297 et seq

FML on a Reduced or Intermittent Basis

Leaves for a serious health condition can be permitted on either an intermittent or reduced work schedule when medically necessary.  State law permits on an intermittent basis for the birth/ placement and/ or care of a child.

Benefits

If an employee has benefits, all benefits automatically continue during any paid leave.  During any unpaid remainder of the 12 weeks of the FML entitlement, the CSU pays its normal share of any medical premiums pursuant to law.  In addition CSU will continue to pay its normal share of any premiums for dental insurance and vision coverage.  An accounts receivable will be set up for the employee’s share of the premium, if any.

Senority

Permanent employees earn seniority points during both the paid and unpaid portions of FML.

Medical Certification

The Human Resources will require a Family Medical Leave Notice and Request (PDF) form and Health Care Provider's Certification form from an employee seeking leave for the serious health condition of him/herself or for the care of a family member.  Written notification with medical certification shall be provided to Human Resources as soon as the event necessitating the leave becomes known to the employee.  Check the provisions of the employee's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for additional information. 

Additional Information

As long as the employee is using his or her own leave credits, all benefits in effect at the time the leave commenced automatically continue.  FML also guarantees the employee’s return to the same position or to another position with equivalent benefits pay, and conditions of employment.

If the leave credits should run out before the twelve-week Family and Medical Leave entitlement is exhausted, the CSU would continue to pay its portion of medical, dental and vision premiums while on an unpaid FML.   If the employee should fail to return from an unpaid FML, the CSU may require the employee to reimburse the University for medical, dental, and vision premiums paid on their behalf during the unpaid portion of FML unless the employee failed to return due to a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond their control.

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